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In today’s film news roundup, MGM buys rights to the rescue movie “Thirteen Lives,” the Greenwich Film Festival has awarded its Virtual Festival Awards and digital series “Quarantine” is raising funds to help actors in need through the SAG-AFTRA Foundation.

STUDIO DEAL

MGM has bought rights to the Thai cave rescue project “Thirteen Lives,” with Ron Howard attached to direct from a William Nicholson script.

The story centers on the real story of 12 members of a soccer team and their assistant coach, who became trapped 1,000 meters underground by monsoon rains flooding Thailand’s Tham Luang cave and blocking their way out. Efforts to locate the group were hampered by rising water levels and strong currents. More than two weeks passed before all 13 of those trapped were rescued. The 2018 rescue effort involved more than 100 divers, representatives from about 100 government agencies, 900 police officers and 2,000 soldiers.

“This film is case study in courage and volunteerism — the courage of those who were trapped, of the divers, of the officials and of the locals who all came together to overcome insurmountable odds while the world watched,” said Howard.

“Thirteen Lives” will be produced by P.J. van Sandwijk of Storyteller Productions, Gabrielle Tana of Magnolia Mae, and Brian Grazer, Howard and Karen Lunder of Imagine Entertainment. The news was first reported by Deadline Hollywood.

FILM FESTIVAL

The Greenwich International Film Festival has awarded its 2020 Virtual Festival Awards to the documentaries “A Peloton of One” and “Music Got Me Here” and the short film “The Other Side.”

“A Peloton of One,” directed by Steven E. Mallorca and John Bernardo, won the new JP Morgan Chase Audience Award, which is accompanied by a $1,000 cash prize. It portrays a survivor of childhood sexual abuse, Dave Ohlmuller, as he conducts a solo bicycle ride from Chicago to New York to raise awareness.

“Music Got Me Here,” directed by Susan Koch, received the Festival’s Best Social Impact Film Award presented by the Bill & Ann Bresnan Foundation. This award is accompanied by a $10,000 cash prize. The film centers on an 18-year-old who suffers a traumatic brain injury and a music therapist who teaches him to speak again through music.

“The Other Side,” directed by Josh Leong, received the Best Connecticut Short Film Award, presented by the Connecticut Office of Film, Television & Digital Media and will receive a $1,000 cash prize. The film centers on an orphan who finds himself about to age out of his orphanage and leave his younger brother behind.

‘QUARANTINE’ SERIES

Production companies Hero L.A and Garrett/Gordon Productions, in partnership with the SAG-AFTRA Foundation effort to raise funds for the COVID-19 Relief Fund, have launched “Quarantine,” a digital series that follows the cast of fictional soap opera “Chino Hills.”

Actors/producers Jerry Ying and Spencer Garrett and casting director/producer Jeremy Gordon teamed up to create “Quarantine,” which depicts actors dealing with the current pandemic. It’s shot entirely on Zoom and explores the impact of isolation on individuals and their relationships.

“It’s been a challenge to go into production with everyone working from the safety of their own homes but also a unique opportunity to explore a new medium for storytelling,” said Ying. “We want to exist in a tempo of comedy slightly beyond traditional sitcom television, and just slightly ahead of the pace of reality TV. Fortunately for us, nearly everyone in the world is already familiar with Zoom and have been using it to connect daily. And most of all, we want to help the SAG-AFTRA Foundation provide emergency relief to our fellow artists.”

New 7-10 minute episodes can be found on the show’s IGTV and YouTube channel on Monday, Wednesday and Friday.